New Haven

Connecticut's Christmas Light Dispays

There is something magical about a holiday light display. Generation after generation have made a ritual of going to see the displays each season. I have so many fun memories of bundling up in the backseat and driving around town searching for the best Christmas lights in town. New Haven has its Fantasy of Lights, Fairfield has several houses that make the holidays special, and Hartford has a huge list of special places to visit.

The Top 10 Things to do with Preschoolers this Holiday Season

From Pinterest-perfect teacher presents to waiting online for those coveted tickets, the Christmas season can be, well, stressful. There's the Christmas parties, the Christmas cards, and then the presents. And the shopping for the presents. We all seriously need a vacation by 5 p.m. on December 25th. But, when you see those little faces light up when they see the guy in red or when they come across an actual living, breathing reindeer, or when they hear that whistle blow. Every second is worth it. We've rounded up the top 10 things to do with your preschooler during the holidays. So get out there and embrace the magic of the season and make yourself some memories to last a lifetime. Be sure to check out our CT Holiday Guide for even more holiday fun. 

Frightfully Fun Flashlight Corn Mazes to Check Out

If you have never been inside a corn maze, imagine entering a twisting, winding dirt-paved series of paths cutting through a giant field of corn stalks. Should you go left, right, or straight ahead? Remember, only the right decision will get you out of the maze. Now, try navigating through the maze at night time amid sounds of rustling cornstalks and shadows along the path. Spooky, right? Check out our roundup of flashlight corn mazes throughout the state for some spooktacular fun. And, for more autumnal adventures, check out our Fall and Halloween guides. 

Where to Find Halloween Costumes on a Budget in Fairfield County

Not to panic you, but if you don't start planning your kids' Halloween costumes pretty soon, you know they are going to spend this Halloween as a hobo, like I did most years. My kids always seem to know exactly what they want to be for Halloween -- IN JUNE. But then they completely forget by the time I ask them again in September. And I know better than to wander the aisles of expensive seasonal costume stores with them, trying to explain to an 8-year-old what a "Sexy Trash Monster Costume" is.

After years of experience in costume building, conjuring, finagling, trading, repairing, and trussing, below is my shopping guide for kids Halloween costumes on a budget. Once you get the kids decked out, be sure to make good use of the costumes by pouring over our awesome Connecticut Guide to Halloween

Bring the Kids While You Workout: Gyms With Childcare in Fairfield County

Yes! You've decided to join the gym and you're pumped about getting pumped up. First priority: make sure you join a gym that makes working out convenient. That means: in-gym childcare!

Of course, there are some days when you want to include the kids in a workout. You can always move it with your posse on a favorite local hike or bike ridean outdoor ropes course or other great active trips found in our Fairfield County Guide. I have four kids, and can't always count on getting out of bed at 5:30 a.m. or on my hubs getting home in time for my favorite yoga class. For that reason, I narrowed my gym choices to those fitness facilities that offer childcare in Fairfield County.

All Aboard the Pumpkin Patch Express

These rattling, toot-tooting relics are truly treasures across New England landscapes. Each time those vintage diesel locomotives come to life, you can hear that pitter patter of those train-loving little souls of ours. Their dome-cars with padded seats offer the ultimate views for the leaf peeper in all of us and a stop at the pumpkin patch is sure to delight those littles in tow. Here is a roundup of historic Connecticut trains and trolleys to climb aboard this fall. And, for more autumn adventures, check out our CT Halloween & Fall Fun Guide for Kids

Apple Picking Orchards in the New Haven Area

There's something about the way the air feels as summer fades to autumn that is uniquely New England. It's that time of year when we begin to break out hats and scarves and crave warm drinks on nippy days. One of our favorite fall activities is apple picking and the New Haven area surely doesn't disappoint when it comes to Pick Your Own orchards. In fact, the whole state is spilling over with fresh fruit just waiting to be harvested. Find an orchard near you in our CT Apple Picking Guide.  And not to worry if your apple harvesters go a little overboard, we have some awesome recipes to help you turn your autumn bounty into a fruit-filled feast.

Pumpkin Patches and Corn Mazes in New Haven County

The autumn sun, colorful foliage, crisp air, giggling children, and a cup of hot cider -- this is the antithesis to the workweek grind. Add a pumpkin or two into the mix, and whether you're decorating it or turning it into a baked delight, you have the recipe for a great fall. Some of the spots we found in the New Haven area are the definition of agri-tourism, so they also made our list of Apple Picking Orchards in central Connecticut. Whether you are looking for slender pumpkins or plump, sprawling farms or cozier ones, New Haven County has what you seek. For even more ideas, sign up for our weekly newsletter and check out our Halloween and Fall Fun Guide.

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